Tiger King’s Prison Sentence Vacated

You may remember Joe Exotic from the Netflix hit Tiger King. Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, was the larger-than-life owner of the G.W. Zoo, a private zoo located in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s 22-year prison sentence was vacated by a federal appeals court judge on Wednesday. It is unclear when the federal appeals court will re-sentence Maldonado-Passage.

Maldonado-Passage was convicted of multiple charges including murder-for-hire in 2019. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the lower courts should have grouped all convictions together when sentencing Joe Exotic. Since the convictions were not lumped together, the sentencing guidelines were mistakenly increased from a maximum of 262 months to a maximum of 327 months.

“Maldonado-Passage hired two different hitmen on two different occasions, though his ‘end, goal, or purpose,’ was the same. Thus, the acts or transactions of the two counts shared a common criminal objective-Baskin’s murder,” the federal appeals court advised. “The district court erred by not grouping the two murder-for-hire counts.”

Maldonado-Passage’s murder-for-hire charges stem from plots to kill his rival big cat fanatic Carole Baskin. He was also convicted on numerous counts of animal cruelty.

While sentencing was vacated, all of Maldonado-Passage’s convictions were upheld. He will be re-sentenced at a later date.

Joseph Maldonado-Passage rose to fame during the COVID-19 pandemic lock down in early 2020 when Netflix aired the true crime docudrama Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. The series garnered a cult following with fans choosing the side of Joe Exotic or his rival big cat lover Carole Baskin. The series played out like a bad soap opera with each episode reaching crazier heights than the last.

The series achieved critical acclaim and was watched by 34.3 million people within the first 10 days of its release. This ranks it among one of Netflix’s most popular series to date.

Despite its critical acclaim, the series did come under scrutiny for sensationalizing the private breeding of big cats. It also received criticism for the portrayal of Carole Baskin being misogynistic.

For more information regarding this story visit Business Insider https://www.insider.com/tiger-king-joe-exotic-sentence-vacated-by-federal-appeals-court-2021-7

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